Dear Asian Youth,
I graduated on June 9th, finally leaving behind my high school life. I had been attending my school since I was a seventh grader and knew some of my classmates for upwards of 6 years. The whole preparation before I graduated (commencement practice, decoration of caps, etc.) felt surreal. Although I had long awaited graduation and college, when the day finally came, I felt a strange sense of emptiness. I think in high school, there is a romanticized version of graduating and going off to college because many students see it as a way of liberation. When it comes down to it, you’re leaving everything you’ve known for years behind. There are several pitfalls of high school, but you tend to focus on the positives when you’re about to leave it.
I remember stepping foot on the wooden stage, smiling at the crowd and receiving my diploma. I honestly don’t remember a lot about that moment because I was too worried and anxious to savor it. After that, it was official. I had graduated.
I went home and opened the diploma, seeing my name and Latin words I didn’t understand. I realized at that moment that I was done. No matter the hardships and adventures I had experienced; I was simply done. Now I had to plan my life moving forward. I was finally going out on my own.
I didn’t want to completely reinvent myself in college, but more so to try to give myself more confidence in my pursuits. In the beginning of high school, I was extremely shy and felt as though I lived in my older brother’s shadow. I battled that feeling until around my senior year when I realized how different I was while writing my college essays.
I hope that when I get into college, I can live completely independently. Not only independently from my family but from my past life. I want to reinvent myself in the way of paving my own path in life. One of my school’s mottos was to love learning and be individual, but somehow that got lost for me. I have to thank high school for allowing me the opportunity to break through that.
Editors: Zoe L., Anoushka K., Zenith W.
Cover Photo Source: iStock